Ba-Bird in an Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus
Sarcophagus (and Mummy) of Neshkons
Material: Painted Sycamore Fig Wood
Origin: Ancient Egypt (Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI)
Dated: c. 900–940 BCE
The interior of the trough of the coffin features large, iconographic elements and hieroglyphs. Centered at the top there is a human-headed Ba-bird, labeled on both sides, “Lord who comes forth/ascends from the horizon”, with seated mummiform jackal deities below the wings (not pictured; however, on the right there is a female Anubis and on the left — an Ipt).
At both shoulders, the hieroglyphs read, “A Royal Offering Formula to Osiris, Lord of Eternity, the West”.
The upper end of the topmost inside panel, where the mummies head would rest, has a sacred bark containing the sign Axt — a solar disk, meaning “horizon”. The second register from the top is suited with a cartouche, which reads “Osiris, Lord of Eternity”, between two seated gods each holding an ankh. The next register down with the Axt (solar disk) in the center is flanked by wadjet-eyes and shrines.
Acquired and sold by Samuel Merrin and Moshe Bronstein of the Merrin Gallery.